Seven days to go…

Seven days to go…

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. I woke up thinking about the Clarity Birthday Celebrations on Create & Craft next weekend, because there’s a lot of prep! And as I was counting down the days on my fingers to the Friday One Day Special, I realised it’s seven days to go! One week. One week out of a thirty year span.

Thirty years of Claritystamps, now more aptly rebranded Claritycrafts! Thirty years. That’s nearly half my life, that I’ve been thinking, dreaming, obsessing, designing, working, planning. No wonder I feel worn out with it sometimes! But there’s still life in the old nag yet! Not so long ago, a man told me I was too old for the TV presenting job, that a younger woman would be better suited to attract a younger audience. I didn’t react, didn’t even grace the opinion with a response. I remember thinking, “you have no idea who I am, what I do, where I come from. You also clearly have no idea who most of our customers are either!” During thirty years in the Crafting World, I have seen a lot, watched different crafts trend, evolve, disappear. Same with people. They come and they go. It is the way of the world – not just the Crafting World.

I’m not a great one for looking back; I much prefer staying in Today, and dreaming a little, looking ahead. I surprise myself how I can close a door and leave it firmly shut, especially if somebody has crossed my line. I think we all have an invisible line, don’t we? A point where the fuse blows, where your inner voice says “enough”. I’ve certainly had several major “enough” moments in my life, and I imagine many of you have too.

Thirty years ago, I had absolutely no clue where my core idea of completely transparent artstamps would lead. I certainly opened a can of worms in the world of stamps when I had that moment of clarity! I wasn’t even from the stamp world! But I did set out on a creative path which never failed me. It magically appeared as I walked…and it still does.

Do any of us really know where we are headed, or what’s around the corner? How can we know what is written into our stars? I don’t think we can. The best laid plans can be washed away in a single storm, metaphorically and physically speaking.

So, rather than look back and reminisce about which ideas worked and which didn’t, which people were true and which weren’t, which choices I made were good and which weren’t, I have to say none of it really matters today. What matters today is today.

And today, I am grateful for Clarity. Ask me again tomorrow! I think I am so lucky to be healthy, to have a loving partner, and have an enquiring mind. That’s it in a nutshell.

I wake up in a nice warm home, with clean sheets. My husband brings me a nice cup of ginger and lemon tea with honey. Every morning. We chat. Then I put my design hat on, he puts his manufacturing hat on, and we go about our days. This morning, Saturday, Dave has gone to work for the morning, to get ahead of next week, and I came to chat to you before I go and continue my prep for the TV shows next weekend – to get ahead of the week. Harmony. That’s what it is. If I get a chance I’ll do some pottery later too.

That’s it. We are the sum of 30 years of experience as an art company TODAY. So we are celebrating 30 years of Clarity by still being here, by still designing and making, by doing the next right thing, by doing service, by helping others always.

Have a lovely Bank Holiday Weekend!,

Love and hugs

Barb x x x

Today’s quote:

The best laid plans can be washed away in a single storm,
metaphorically and physically speaking.


39 thoughts on “Seven days to go…

  1. Congratulations Barbara on 30 years of Clarity!

    I only started using your products one year ago. However I can say that it is refreshing to buy and interact with such a caring and professional company in our present world. They say Leadership is from the top down and your team certainly have a great leader . A huge CONGRATULATIONS and well deserved.x

  2. Thirty years is a long time. Glad you and your company are still here! You certainly kept me sane all through covid and I know that I can press a button on the computer and there you are, with your knowledge of arty things, your down to earth approach, your infectious laugh, your moments of sheer joy and moments of complete sadness. You are human, approachable and pass on your knowledge in ways that we all understand!
    Best plans can always go wrong! Best Togo with the flow! Thankyou for sharing 30 years of your life!xx

  3. Congratulations on 30 years of Clarity. I only started crafting when I came back to my hometown when my mum was ill 20 years ago. That year I balked at paying £4.99 for a beautiful white 5 inch square Christmas card in Smiths and decided I would make my own. It looked nothing like the one in the store but started my new obsession which has probably cost hundreds maybe thousands times the cost of that card but has given me hours of pleasure . And if I break down that shop card now it would be a 5 inch card blank with an embedded square and a Clarity Linda Williams Robin coloured with polychromos or pergaliners. I might just have another bash this year!!!!

  4. Thank heavens you had that inspiration all those years ago! It always surprises me that some companies still make rubber and wooden mounted stamps.
    Congratulations on 30 years and here’s hoping for many more. Good that you have a young team to keep things going…and a Paul! Looking forward to seeing what you’ve come up with for next weekend’s birthday celebrations. Xx

  5. To you and all at Clarity Towers past and present, thank you for doing what you do and still keeping it real after 30 years.
    We never know where we are going to end up in life, I know when I was born my parents thought my life would be very different from what it has been. Even my work life was so different from what I had planned, and it ended miles away from where it started, but throughout it all I’ve crafted and couldn’t imagine a life without something(s) to do in my down time.
    My stashes are far to big for me to work through but you keep tempting me, and long may that continue. Wishing you health, happiness and love.

  6. What would we do without transparent stamps !!! So pleased that you had that ‘moment of clarity’. I used to own and run a kindergarten so was ‘cutting and sticking’ long before I was stamping and now we have stencils and Groovi.
    I look forward to your 30th Anniversary on C&C Busy time for you but I hope you have some time for your pottery.
    Take care.

  7. Congratulations Barbara with 30 years of Clarity Community!!!🌟🎉
    My crafting starts at a young age when traveling with my parents on Dad’s coaster and could not play outside on the ship because it was too dangerous at sea. My Mum was a teacher and I became later a kindergarden teacher so was crafting almost my whole live.
    When moving to another county and watching tv by satelite I discover C&C on television and was watching everytime when there was a lady making cards with stamps in such a different way then I was doing.
    That lady her name was Barbara and I have learned so much from you by watching!
    Take care and looking forwards to next weekend.

  8. ”Live for Today & sort Tomorrow out when it comes” along with ”What is done is done” follow your thoughts.
    Congratulations on 30 years of Clarity & long may it continue. There not many craft companies that give their time for free to share their knowledge so everyone has a chance to have a go at doing some form of craft that for some has grown into a full time job. I love our hour of doodling on a Monday & Groovi on a Tuesday, knowing it is always there to go back to if I want on YouTube.
    Paul & the team at Clarity Towers need a big Thank You as well for all their hard work keeping us supplied with all our goodies. People just don’t realise how long it takes & what is involved.
    Don’t forget to have some downtime from TV prep by doing some pottery, I am looking forward to seeing the finished Totem Pole xx

  9. Love today’s words, but we have to remember that a storm clears the space for new things to come into our lives. When Geoff died so suddenly, I made the decision to create a new and different life. That was when I signed up for my first one day retreat with you at Nottingham. I was terrified but loved every moment and love every retreat since. Your 30th birthday coincides with my 10th year of Clarity retreats. Very mixed emotions but you and Clarity made it possible to come to terms with a huge loss – a real storm washing away my life. Thank you for helping me to rebuild my life. xxx Maggie Craner (Silvercrafter)

  10. Long live Clarity! Take no notice of idiots like the man you mention, there are legions of us who learn from you every time you are on tv or Facebook and are waiting to see what new ideas you will bring on next week’s birthday weekend.
    Clarity is made of such lovely, talented people and that comes from your leadership. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll more than likely keep buying and learning.
    Have a lovely day.

  11. You came into my life one Sunday lunchtime. We were eating a roast and you were on Hochanda with Janice – what a hoot – Stan called it the Barbara and Janice Show. You’ve been with us ever since through good times and bad and when you started The Shac you were my life-saver. Yes, my Bank Manager winces at times (even sheds a tear) but you’ve continued to inspire me for a few years now. Happy 30th Birthday Clarity – long may you continue and thank you for what you do best – nurture, inspire and drive us Shackers to the most amazing places xxxx

  12. Well I’ve no idea who told you that you were too old for TV?! I could easily watch you all day and when I watch you on C&C, I always marvel at your energy, your skill, your generosity and your ability to make an hour disappear in five minutes flat! Congratulations on your 30th year of Clarity. I wish I could say I’ve been with you for all those years but I only discovered you about 7 years ago, and only became a customer about 3 years ago. I can clearly remember the first time I found you on “youtube”. I was going through a dreadful time and surviving on very little sleep. I found you in the middle of the night! You kept me company, and I marvelled at your crafting skills . It took me a while to realise that you weren’t just a crafter, but that you actually owned a company! Your products really are superior to any others I have bought, and I love them all! You really have no idea how much you have helped me Barbara, and I was thrilled to be able to thank you in person at the retreat last year…and again this year! Wishing you continued success….and a good holiday very soon??!!

  13. Congratulations on 30 years of Clarity, and thank you for all your time, inspiration, laughter and blogs which helped keep me sane a few years ago when looking after my late mum and dad. I discovered you many years ago on C & C, when I was off work with a sickness bug. You were demonstrating a Christmas card, looking out of a open window at the scene beyond, and from then on, I was well and truly hooked at a time I was wondering whether to go with dies or stamping, after doing decoupage for many years. I joined your stamping journey, which along the way gave me stencils, lovely parchment designs with the great groovi journey, and yes, more dies too. I do try not to be tempted, but my resistance is low. So another BIG THANK YOU to you, and your wonderful team. Hope you get time for some pottery. Looking forward to more temptation and a ever growing wish list. Take care. xx

  14. Congratulations on 30 years of wonderful Clarity !
    I first saw you on a small stall at Alexandra palace when you were just starting out and have followed your journey ever since. Watching you on Tv always makes me feel better. Keep up the good work.
    Love and hugs

  15. Too old for TV – ha! Ha! what do they know ? Nothing obviously ! Congrats on 30 years of running your business, employing others and giving us all enjoyment! I would be a lot better off if you hadn’t started 😹 still I have a lot to show for it and a lot of enjoyment so thank you. Here’s to the next 30! X

  16. Well I first came across HOCHANDA in 2015 – lying in bed recovering from chemo. I’d watch all day and ever so often I’d pay more attention as this very talented Lady (Barbara) was on. She was clearly different – there was more passion more tuition and I loved the humour. The products looked very interesting and I started to buy.

    So when the SHAC was born, I just had to join in. It’s then that my passion for Clarity was also reinforced . I’d always loved art but Barbara helped me to get inspired to be arty again.

    I am so lucky to be part of the Design Team and to get to play with all the lovely new products. I’m very honoured Thankyou Barbara and A BIG CONGRATULATIONS on 30 years of CLARITY. What a great achievement- and here’s to lots more inspiration fantastic designs and continued crafty friendship within our Clarity family.

  17. Well, whoever that man was, he clearly didn’t recognise genius! Congratulations on your 30th anniversary. I’ve not been with you since the beginning, but for many, many years (remember the clubs with photos stuck on?) and my clarity collection dominates my craft space. Timeless, quality products, and I’ve learned so many new techniques and concepts from you that I use them over and again in new ways which makes my crafting journey so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing yourself and your talent so freely x

  18. CONGRATULATIONS !!! Savour the celebration.
    I used to get stuck in the mode of thinking I wasn’t artistic because I couldn’t draw. You changed that with the SHAC while I was also realizing that I have been creative in different ways since I was a child. Your creativity is inspiring and always evolving.

  19. That man is a dinosaur, he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD,!!!!! If Esther Rantzen, Jane Fonda and Joanna Lumley can do TV so can every woman whatever their age.
    You are a star and after 30 years deserve a medal for all you do.
    I have just finished working through Linda’s sets 1&2 and am looking forward to receiving set 3 just ordered.
    The 30th anniversary weekend will be exciting and informative. I just hope my bank statement can stand the strain.
    Hope all goes well with your prep but do try to take some time for yourself.

  20. Loved today’s blog and totally agree with everyone else. What a fabulous 30 years of crafting creativity you have given us. I sincerely hope that both you and Dave will be able to put in place a plan to enable you both to take things at a slower pace – I’m sure you will. Take care xxx

  21. Congratulations on your 30th year! I have often thought about the day you realised that clear stamps would be so much easier to use. How right you were and it’s amazing that you followed your intuition and built the company! You are a very special person and I wish you the very best, and hope that you, Dave and the Clarity team continue in the future. Thank you so very much. With love xx

  22. Celebrating 30 years of hard graft, ups and downs and a few sideways no doubt but always keeping on whatever. Congratulations to you, Dave and a fantastic company with the “family” in reality and feeling to those of us who love your products, your time and creativity you share.

  23. congratulations on 30 years! what an amazing achievement 👏 only discovered you fairly recently but what an amazing company

  24. Hi Barbara
    Well done on your 30 yr birthday 🎉. That’s the number of years I spent being a Traffic Warden in London and took some abuse I can tell you but my invisible line was being sworn at and one particular word which I won’t repeat. So I agree that sometimes people should keep their opinions to themselves, too old indeed?.
    But a strange thing happened today Jackie and I were having our eyes tested and we managed to get a customer for her pottery all because the optician asked her what activities she did so we showed him some photos and one of the assistants liked it.
    I found Clarity some 20 years ago and have enjoyed the journey very much so to you Dave and your team a big thank you 😊.
    Ruth and Jackie xx

  25. Good morning from New Zealand. I have been reading your inspiring blog for so many years. I truly admire your ability to remain positive despite the “storms of life”.

    I wish you and Paul all the very best. You always succeed at what ever you do. As a cat person, I also love your two ginger beasties – gorgeous.

    Keep doing all you do. Warmest wishes. Diana

  26. ‘Too old’…??!! Whoever it was clearly can’t recognise skill and experience when they see it! I love that I’ve been a little part of the Clarity journey over the last 15 years – you taught me to stamp properly at a workshop in Little Baddow in Essex back in the day and then I joined the New Design Club (when the project sheets were typed & can with the photos stuck on!) Who would have thought then that I’d become part of your design team? (not me, that’s for sure!) You’re an inspiration to so many of us – keep on doing what you do best xxx

  27. Congratulations Barbara on the 30th Anniversary of Clarity. To you and your lovely team I send heartfelt wishes for happiness and continuing success. You and your products are amazing. I discovered you about 10 years ago and have been a fan of yours ever since. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  28. Congratulations on 30years of Clarity what an achievement and through thick and thin. Hope next week goes well when we watch you on t.v., I still rewatch the shrink plastic demo with Dean and still laugh!
    Love all your products and always look forward to what new ideas and products you bring to us. Clarity definitely rocks! X

  29. What I love about Barbara is something that comes over as soon as you see her…..She’s a genuinely REAL person who cares about her clients as much as she cares for her products. There’s no “fakery” or “front” to impress people so they’ll buy, in order to contribute to her success. This was obvious from the start, but never more so than when she created Shac Shack to get everyone through Covid. What a lady!🥰 The time she gave up, every single day, to help folk to keep their sanity….and still does over 3 years later. No subscriptions; no charges; no judgement; just unadulterated fun and support alongside first class teaching. THANK YOU lovely lady. And congratulation on 30 years of wonderful crafting. Good luck for the future…whatever you may bring.🤪🥰🥰🥰🥰

  30. Congratulations on 30 years of Clarity ! I have been a fan for many years and used to buy a Clarity stamp when I could .The little brown box would arrive in the post and the stamp was premounted and ready to go .I was so excited then and still am now when I receive my happy post Club stamp .!That Man was sexist ,agesist and downright rude ! Obviously hasn’t a clue .My crafting world would be very dull without you Barbara.Warmest wishes to you and team Clarity xxx

  31. Hello Barb, Congratulations to you and all the Clarity team and family. It was many years ago in Stevenage that I bought my first Clarity stamps, then I worked on weekends in a small craft shop, which started stocking and selling Clarity stamps, and I spent a lot of my money on buying more, then I joined the club, then multiple clubs, and I can honestly say I still love the Clarity brand immensely and enjoy using the products. Ignore the idiot male who said that to you, he was obviously feeling threatened by a dynamic woman. Looking forward to the Birthday shows and Celebrations. Take care everyone. Bx

  32. Hey Barb, I first saw you on tv when I was channel hopping over 20 years ago and have followed you ever since. Groovi is my happy place!! Sending congratulations and best wishes for continued success and a big virtual hug 🤗 Jan

  33. Many congratulations, Barbara, on 30 glorious years of Clarity! 30 glorious years of innovation, inspiration and imagination! You have achieved so much, especially bringing together a very special creative community where so many can be inspired to be creative in a fun, friendly, safe environment. And many congratulations to your very special, talented Team Clarity, that have helped to make it all possible.
    Here’s another little Haiku verse in celebration –
    ~ Clarity inspires ~
    Pure crafting artistic joy
    ~ Barbara creates ~

  34. What a fabulous achievement in this day and age, still attracting new customers with new products and retaining and training your existing customers after 30 years. We love you for it. Long may it continue, although having retired a couple of years ago myself , I would fully understand it if you decided to do the same. Mourn it but understand it.
    Have an interesting but restful break with Dave . Many congratulations and heartfelt thanks xx

  35. Huge congratulations on thirty years of Clarity. I love tuning into C & C tv to watch you, Tina and Paul and am a regular, if a bit quiet Groovi Tuesday watcher. Crafting and especially Groovi helps me so much so I personally am wishing you many more years xxx

  36. you are still attracting the young and not so young crafters.
    How do you know when someone is jealous of your success?
    When they make dumb comments like that man did.
    He is talking out of his rear end, how dare he, tell us his name and we will set him straight. Seriously congrats Barbara I love how you have evolved and all the new designs too x

  37. No wonder you are so successful if you both set out in the mornings wearing just your hats. I have a big grin on my face now thinking about your success whilst looking forward to the next thirty years. You are both amazing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, ideas, skills and products with us all in such a fun way 😁❤😁❤😁

  38. Congratulations on your 30th Anniversary of a company. I only discovered your company about 9 months ago.
    I absolutely love your enthusiasm, inspiration and your humour. You are an amazing teacher. I have learned so much in this short time. A huge big thank you for everything you do and your amazing team at Clarity Crafts ❤️
    Have a Super Birthday party next weekend. I will certainly be tuning in and most of all have a fantastic holiday in September. Relax, Chill out and enjoy every moment 🥰

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